saddle/rod spring compression

I am in the process of reassembling the saddles/rods and springs on a C&P 10x15. I recall somewhat recently seeing a posting on a few approaches for decompressing the springs so that the pin can be inserted at the end of the rod. I can’t seem to find the article now.

To do this by hand, it is very challenging and it seems there is a trick or two to do it? There is too much tension to compress the spring by hand, I believe.

Any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Years ago, I worked at a company in Cincinnati that serviced printing equipment, including C&P’s. All the service reps carried a special tool or tools (2) to compress the spring you are talking about. It was a pece of steel 1/2 x 1/4 about 30 inches long. It was ground and bent to ‘bite’ the spring and compress it. Two tools made it much easier to install a new spring.
It is easy to make.
Contact me and I will try to describe it to you.
Best wishes,

I am repeating one I read from another list member.

Get a piece of PCV pipe 1/2” size, 6-8” long. Cut a slot through both side large enough to put the cotter pin through. Use the PVC to compress the spring just far enough pass the hole then push the pin through. Remove the PVC and bend the ends.

I haven’t tried it but it sounds like a great solution. I hope I described it well enough for you to visualize.

Great idea, longdaypress. I’ll try that tomorrow and will post pics for others for future reference. Thanks.

I have four brand new springs to install and the best I’ve come up with is a flathead screwdriver and hope it doesn’t slip off the spring! I would love to see pictures of any tools to make the job easier - thanks all!

Hi guys,
The tool we used in the old days consisted of a piece of steel bar stock 1/4” x 1/2” x 25”(approx) long.
Grind one end in the same radius as the roller saddle shaft diameter. Then grind a bevel on it. Measure back form the edge one inch and bend it over 90* bevel faceing the long end of the bar.
In other words, bevel on the right, bend over to the right.

Measure down the bar about 20” and bend over 90* in the same direction.
Move the press so that the end of the saddle shaft (cotter pin end) is pointing toward your belt buckle. Saddle topward the horison
Use the ground end of the tool to feed the sprong on to the shaft. other end of the tool is pressed into your belly, above your belt buckle. This way you can press & hold the spring and have both hands available to set the pin, etc.
Hope this helps.
Let me know if I can be of additional assistance.
Get the presses rolling!

Thanks a lot, Jim.

Per longdaypress, I picked up 1/2” diameter piece of pvc (it was precut at about a foot or so) at Home Depot ($1). I cut the pvc to about 2 inches in length, then cut notches (see picture). On one side of the length of the pvc, I made a complete cut from end to end. This cut along the length allowed me to easily remove the pvc after the pin was inserted into the rod (otherwise, I couldn’t remove the pvc once the pin was inserted).

I clamped the pvc over the spring with pliers, pushed and compressed the spring on the rod until the hole at the end of the rod was visible to put the pin in. On the other end, the saddles were pressed up against a wall so that I could get leverage.

The pvc in my picture is pretty mangled but this should give you an idea of how it worked.

The 1/2 inch pvc was actually too big so the spring fit inside the pvc so I had to change my approach as I described above. You might see if they have pvc that more closely fits the rod diameter so that it catches the spring.

See attached pics.

image: pvc2.jpg


image: pvc1.jpg


There are a number of ways to do this. Some are good. Think it through and think of worst case if the compressed spring slips. I wouldn’t want it pointed at any part of my body… I speak from some experience. It missed, but only slightly.

smiling at inky’s post….when I put them on I work from the side, I’ve had them slip off and when installing and definitely wouldn’t want to be in front of it!

I realized that the saddle springs were going to be a pain as soon as I pulled that pin and the spring shot fifteen feet.

See photos below:

After wasting a half hour trying to ‘free hand’ the spring back on I went and got a 12” section of 1/2” Conduit - which I cut a ‘V’ into with a hacksaw. It will also help if you crimp the ‘V’ end down a bit to prevent the spring from popping inside of the 1/2” conduit.

Then, after wasting some more time I realized that a larger piece of conduit would keep the spring from buckling or popping off of the rod - so I went and cut a section of 3/4 conduit slightly shorter than the 1/2” section.

This worked great - just slide the spring onto the roller hooks until it reaches the top, then slip the 3/4” section of conduit over the spring up to the roller hook base, then compress with the 1/2” section until you can see the pin hole through the ‘V’. Easy as cake.

Also, I forgot to mention that if you do this alone you will need to tie back the roller journals so that they stay all the way down.

image: RollerHookTied.jpg


image: RollerHookTool.jpg


image: RollerHookTools.jpg


You might also be interested in this little video I just posted on youtube about the tool that I came up with, and a single take video clip showing it’s use: